Politics /

Michigan Senate Repeals Right-To-Work Law As State Removes Campaign Contribution Limits From PACs

New legislation opens the door to big money donors to launder unlimited funds through labor unions to candidates

The Michigan Senate has voted to overturn the state’s right-to-work laws, marking a major victory for unions and organized labor. The measure passed in a 20-17 vote with Democrats voting along party lines.

Right-to-work legislation, passed by state Republicans in 2012, guarantees that workers cannot be compelled to join or pay dues to labor unions, which are responsible for billions of dollars in political donations.

During the 2020 election cycle, labor unions spent roughly $1.8 billion on political activities and lobbying.

The legislation is slated to go back to Michigan’s House, where it is expected to be passed. (The House approved a similar measure last week.) Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, a Democrat, has indicated she will sign the legislation.

Michigan had the seventh highest percentage of unionized workers in the U.S. when the 2012 law went into effect, but has since dropped to 11th, The Press Democrat reported. Last year, overall union membership cratered to an all-time low.

Democrats and union backers hailed the bill’s passage as a victory.

“It’s a new day here in Lansing,” Senate Majority Leader Winnie Brinks said. “And today we are taking action to empower workers by restoring the rights that they always relied on.”

Democratic Congresswoman Rep. Rashida Tlaib wrote on Twitter: “‘Right to Work’ (for less) laws are meant to bankrupt unions and perpetuate disgusting levels of corporate greed. It’s time to give workers a true voice in the workplace and at the bargaining table.”

Opponents argue that repealing the protections afforded by right-to-work laws unfairly punish workers and allow unions too much influence over politicians.

“Polls show Michigan residents heavily favor right-to-work laws, as do the majority of the country,” Hannah Cox, President and Co-Founder of BASEDPolitics, told Timcast. “And it isn’t hard to see why. Who wants to be forced to join a union?”

Cox added, “Unfortunately, it’s clear the majority of the Michigan legislature works for Big Labor — which is desperate for members, since participation has bottomed out in recent years — rather than for the people they’re supposed to represent.”

Former Republican nominee for Michigan Governor Tudor Dixon told Newsmax host Jenn Pellegrino that the repeal of right-to-work laws is not what the people of Michigan want.

“Not only will this hurt us economically, but what we’re also seeing, if you kind of unpack this bill, they’re actually saying they’re going to give people a tax credit for their union dues,” Dixon said. “So, ultimately all of the people of Michigan will be getting a pay cut because we’re all going to be paying union dues from now on. And then, those unions are able to fund candidates with no limits.”

Dixon added: “The only group in the entire state that can fund a candidate with no limits? Think about the danger there. You could have a George Soros come into the union, give them $20 million and fund a full campaign with no limits whatsoever. This is outrageous. They are drinking from the firehose here. If this happens in other states, we’re watching what Democrats are willing to do. It really is going beyond the pale.”

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